Setting Boundaries with Narcissistic Abuse
by: Todd Doyle, International Author of Healing the Shattered: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse
Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse that is perpetrated by individuals with narcissistic personality disorder. These individuals are characterized by an excessive sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a need for constant admiration and validation. They may use manipulation, exploitation, and control in their relationships to get their needs met and maintain a sense of power and control.
If you are in a relationship with a narcissistic abuser, it is important to set boundaries to protect yourself and maintain your sense of self-worth and autonomy. Setting boundaries can be difficult, especially if you have been conditioned to prioritize the needs and wants of the abuser over your own. However, it is a crucial step in reclaiming your power and agency, and it can help you establish a healthier, more equitable relationship.
Here are some tips for setting boundaries with a narcissistic abuser:
1. Know your limits: It is important to understand your own limits and boundaries, and to communicate them clearly and assertively to the abuser. This may involve setting limits on how much time you are willing to spend with them, what types of behaviors or actions you are willing to tolerate, and how much personal information you are comfortable sharing.
2. Communicate clearly: When setting boundaries with a narcissistic abuser, it is important to be clear, direct, and firm in your communication. Avoid using passive language or making vague requests. Instead, use “I” statements to express your own needs and feelings, and be specific about what you expect and what you are willing to accept.
3. Stay true to yourself: It is important to stay true to yourself and your own values and beliefs when setting boundaries with a narcissistic abuser. Don’t let the abuser manipulate or coerce you into compromising your own values or beliefs.
4. Seek support: Setting boundaries with a narcissistic abuser can be challenging, especially if you have been conditioned to prioritize their needs over your own. It can be helpful to seek support from friends, family, a therapist, or a support group to help you navigate this process.
5. Enforce your boundaries: It is important to follow through on your boundaries and enforce them consistently. If the abuser violates your boundaries, it is important to communicate this clearly and take steps to protect yourself, such as seeking help from a trusted friend or professional.
Setting boundaries is an important step in protecting yourself from narcissistic abuse and establishing a healthier, more equitable relationship. It may be challenging at first, but with time and practice, it can help you reclaim your power and autonomy and create a better life for yourself.